It's no secret White Rock is home to artists of all forms, but the inaugural Fall Festival of the Arts aims to point a bigger spotlight on the city's contribution to the world of arts.
"The time frame is fairly big. It goes from September all the way to the end of October," said White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin.
"It's not like a weekend blitz; it's more like a two-month long blitz."
Some of the events are pre-existing, such as International Artists Day, which will close out the arts bonanza, and some are brand new, such as an arts-themed gala night.
Baldwin explained that the gala - for which there are only 200 tickets available - will feature top name artists and their works. The entrance ticket gives each holder a voucher they can use to bid on the works presented by the artists.
"There are a number of very prominent artists - I was surprised at the names of some who we got, but these are pretty highlevel artists," Baldwin said.
One of the bonuses to come from the gala is that some of the featured artists are also interested in teaching.
"They have a strong interest in that and we are trying to offer them up as it were to the schools," he said.
The idea is to have some of these very well-known artists come in and talk to the kids about art and painting styles and so on and teach them.
"And not only the kid but also the parents too and whoever else wants to attend. It's a pretty neat opportunity. You'd need to go a long ways to find people of this calibre who are offering these classes," said the mayor.
Baldwin also pointed out there will be some top-notch musical offerings too. For example, the festival kicked off over the weekend with a concert by Grammy Awardwinning saxophonist Ernie Watts at Blue Frog Studios. And homegrown performer Jodi Proznick will have a concert there in conjunction with International Artists Day (IAD), he said.
"I am really looking forward to this International Artists Day because I know there's a lot of work gone into it and so that should kind of fun but there are so many events going on that it's going to be just a hoot to go to them."
There are plenty of other events you will find under the Fall Festival of the Arts banner, including the upcoming exhibit Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Transformative Power of Craft at the White Rock Museum. That opens Sept. 6. In addition to music and performances, there will be a mobile drawing unit, artist auctions, the gala and more.
One of the new events is a local take on the existing event in Richmond and elsewhere called the Grand Prix of Painting.
The White Rock version is called Paint the Town and will have artists in a number of venues who have a specific task or setting to capture within a certain amount of time.
At the end, the works are all auctioned off.
Baldwin said that while White Rock has always been a haven for artists, the Fall Festival of the Arts brings everything together in a new way.
"What we're doing is co-ordinating it and bringing it together and elevating it to a degree." The invited artists "give it that little extra lift" to complement the varied local talent who already call the Peninsula home.
"We have some amazing people here."
The full schedule of events in the Fall Festival of the Arts is online at www.whiterockcity.ca.
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